The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co., refusing to revive its bid to sue the federal government over the $85 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. a decade ago.
The justices, without comment, left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said Starr, one of AIG’s largest shareholders, doesn’t have the legal right to sue the government.
The 2008 bailout saved what was then the country’s biggest insurer from imminent collapse in the midst of a national housing crisis.
The lawsuit sought compensation for what Greenberg’s lawyers said were onerous bailout terms that gave the government 80% of AIG’s equity. The government later sold its stock for almost $18 billion.
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“If the decision below is allowed to stand, one of the largest government seizures of private property in history will effectively escape judicial review,” the appeal said.
Starr’s lawyer, David Boies, said he was disappointed the court wouldn’t hear the case, faulting the government for “disproportionate and unfair treatment of AIG’s shareholders.”